man or mouse?

akireaitana

Member
Italian
Ciao,
il contesto é il seguente: un bandito chiede a un ragazzo se ha fatto fuori un altro criminale e gli dice:

"Well, what's it to be? Man or mouse?"

Come lo tradurreste? Qualcosa tipo "Allora, com'é andata? ......."

Grazie mille
 
  • TimLA

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    Viene da una frase fatta, ben conosciuta in inglese:
    Are you a man or a mouse? (sei un uomo o un coniglio/fifone?)

    Avete la stessa forma in italiano?
     

    Salbina

    Senior Member
    US
    Italiano
    Direi che come frase fatta vera e propria non ce l'abbiamo, ma "coniglio" è molto molto usato come sinonimo di "codardo", per cui il senso si capirebbe. Con "topo" no, invece, credo che ad un orecchio italiano "Uomini e topi" come espressione richiami solo il libro di Steinbeck, ma non suona idiomatico.

    Ciao
     

    kan3malato

    Senior Member
    Italia/Italiano
    Viene da una frase fatta, ben conosciuta in inglese:
    Are you a man or a mouse? (sei un uomo o un coniglio/fifone?:tick:)

    Avete la stessa forma in italiano?
    Ciao Timmy.
    We also say "Sei un uomo o una pecora?"
     

    Salbina

    Senior Member
    US
    Italiano
    :)
    If it's Totò, it's got to be a play on words...Vedi Napoli e poi Mori/Muori :D

    caporali - capre (goats) and corporals
    ???????

    No, no Tim...no play on words, here! :)

    If you google "Uomini o caporali" you can find a quote from the movie "Siamo uomini o caporali" and it'll explain a lot! Anyway "caporale" is a military rank (corporal, as you said), but also kind of a go-between for workers and their bosses, holds some authority on workers and takes some money from their wages. So, basically, is someone who takes advantage of "poor people" and exploits them.

    Please, forgive my poor explanation (and English...)
     

    TimLA

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    No, no Tim...no play on words, here! :)

    If you google "Uomini o caporali" you can find a quote from the movie "Siamo uomini o caporali" and it'll explain a lot! Anyway "caporale" is a military rank (corporal, as you said), but also kind of a go-between for workers and their bosses, holds some authority on workers and takes some money from their wages. So, basically, is someone who takes advantage of "poor people" and exploits them.

    Please, forgive my poor explanation (and English...)
    Aha! Excellent! Thanks very much!

    So something like "Men or scoundrels/crooks".

    And your English is VERY good...not to worry! Keep writing in it!
     

    Salbina

    Senior Member
    US
    Italiano
    Aha! Excellent! Thanks very much!

    So something like "Men or scoundrels/crooks".

    Yes, it's not far from this (which would be "Uomini o farabutti"), but in addition it has a sad nuance, like you only have a choice between being honest, so inevitably poor (but on the other hand, a man, whole and fair) and being clever (in a negative sense), so living a more comfortable life, without your conscience as a burden. Tertium non datur (there isn't a third chance).

    Totò was a philosoper, too... :)
     
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